Art enthusiasts from London gave opinions on the importance of watercolor during the First World War last Friday.
The Estorick Collection, located in a grade two listed building on Canonbury Square in North London has been displaying predominantly Italian art since first opening its doors to the public in 1998. Currently however, the gallery is exhibiting the work of famous figures in WW1 such as Ernest Brooks, William Joseph Brunell, Keith Roberts and Sydney Carline, who played an crucial part in documenting the war through their photography and artwork.
Carline’s work especially drew attention to retired Bryan Collett, who mentioned that he came to the gallery out of sheer curiosity in some of the artists whom he’d previously never heard of.
(Some of Carline’s work which he painted from his cockpit in flight)
“I’m familiar with some of the war artists, but some of the others i’m not, that’s why I came along – out of curiosity.”
Collett also explained how important he felt it was that these artists documented things they seen, saying “The whole idea of a war artist is it’s a bit like being an embedded journalist or a war correspondent, they were the equivalent.” Now 100 years on, and the public today can see first hand what these correspondents lived through on a daily basis.
(Digital copies of work by William Joseph Brunell, exibited in the Estorick Collection)
Claudia Zanardi, the marketing assistant at the collection who was kind enough to give a tour of the exhibits explained more about the gallery, its work and the history behind it all.
Zanardi said the exhibits at the moment were “British artists who went to Italy during the First World War,” adding “this exhibition is quite important to us, all of our exhibitions are important to us, but this one in particular.”
Zanardi also added that the gallery and its exhibits aim to develop conversation with a British audience about modern Italian art with the help of the Imperial War Museum and the Pullman Centre who loaned the gallery various original pieces, as well as digital copies to aid them in their ventures.
(An airplane piece by Keith Roberts)
Zanardi finally went on to say that the gallery has “four temporary exhibitions per year, ll about Italian topics,” which will keep avid art admirers coming back for more.